|Harbinger of spring|
The harbinger of spring were hiding in the leaf litter a few days ago, announcing the arrival of the spring ephemeral wildflower season. Within several days they are followed in rapid order by trout lily, trillium, and a variety of other tiny beauties. To see them you have to bend over and of course, get outside!
|Belted kingfisher - Joe Motto|
The eastern american toad usually starts calling in mid-April, but we heard a preview last week as one tried to overcome the chorus of spring peepers. Their high pitched trilling call seems to hang on forever, up to 30 seconds, as you wait for it to stop for a breath. They will soon be mating and you can look for their distinctive long, double strands of eggs in ephemeral collections of water.
|Eastern tent caterpillar egg case|
Hummingbirds will start arriving any day now. They will be hungry from their trip back from their wintering grounds in Central America and most will be moving on after fueling up. Even though it was blustery today, we have loaded up the bird feeders, as there won't be many other nectar sources around for a while until columbine starts blooming They can also feed on tree sap and flying insects but both are hard to come by at this time of year.
Snakes begin to emerge from their hibernaculum (dens) when average temperature of the soil warms sufficiently. Watch for copperheads - they are just minding their own business and you are too big for them to eat so they don't want to waste venom on you. Leave them alone unless they are around your house.
|Copperhead - (he was photographing the mushroom) - Mark Bower|
|Serviceberry blossom - Wikimedia|
|Three-toes box turtle laying her eggs|
|Black vulture parent - 2015|